Brief information and related links on the following specific types of hazards that could potentially affect our area are arranged alphabetically below:


Several severe droughts have been recorded in Vermont during the last century, including 1964-1966 and 1999-2002.  Current information can be found at the national drought monitor.


Vermont is classified as an area with “moderate” seismic activity.  A HAZUS earthquake hazard analysis conducted by the Vermont State Geologist’s office predicted significant damage for parts of the state based from estimated 500-year quakes that could occur from six epicenters.

Epidemics and other Health Threats

The state, national government, and international organizations monitor infectious diseases and how to best deal with them.

Extreme Temperatures

Extreme cold or heat can create emergencies by themselves if they continue for several days. Listen to the TV or radio on tips to stay comfortable, drink lots of water, do not overexert yourself, dress properly and seek more appropriate shelter if necessary.


Floods are such a significant state and regional  hazard that they have their own page on our web site which can be reached by clicking here.

Global Climate Change

Climate change is happening in Vermont, and worldwide at an accelerating rate.  Adaptations to deal with some of these changes are underway.  Efforts to rapidly lower greenhouse gas emissions are needed to avert further irreversible and catastrophic climate changes.


Hailstorms have occurred in Vermont, usually during the summer months in association with severe thunderstorms.  Stay under shelter during a hail storm.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Hurricanes (storms with sustained winds greater than 74 mph) rarely reach as far inland as Vermont, often having weakened to tropical storms or depressions by the time they get here, but they can still be very serious, as Tropical Storm Irene illustrated.

Invasive Species

Invasive species have altered our ecosystem and caused millions of dollars of damage in Vermont.  New invasives are threatening the state.   Do your part to control the spread of these pests.  There are restrictions on the movement of wood, plants, and soil in the state.


Some areas of Vermont have a higher danger from landslides than commonly thought.  Landslides can be caused by seismic events, changes to groundwater flow, heavy rains, removal of hillside vegetation, and manmade or natural undercutting of steep banks. People should avoid building near the edge of high banks and should carefully think about any activities that remove vegetation or reroute drainage in steep areas.


Lightning is a serious danger, killing more than 50 people per year nationally and injuring many more.  Lightning strikes Vermont over 28,000 times per year on average and has tragically killed people in the state.

Power Outage

Structural Fire

Vermont has nearly 50 million dollars in damage and at least a few tragic deaths annually from structure fires, most often caused by heating systems or cooking.  Every dwelling should have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers!

Technological Hazards/HAZMAT

“Technological hazards” are accidental and include such things as train derailments, airplane crashes, vehicle crashes, hazardous materials (HAZMAT) spills or leaks, explosions, radiation hazards, noxious or poisonous fumes, dam failure and structure collapse.

Terrorism and Civil Hazards

Terrorism and civil hazards include actions that people intentionally do to threaten lives and property. They may range from a single person to the organized use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD.


Thunderstorms can create heavy rainfall, flash flooding, strong winds, and lightning.  If there is a severe thunderstorm watch or warning, pay attention, and seek appropriate shelter.  Tornadoes have occurred throughout Vermont, and the state averages about one tornado per year, nearly always in association with severe summer thunderstorms.

VT Urban Search and Rescue Team


Wildfire conditions in Vermont are typically at their worst either in spring prior to “green up” or in late summer and early fall when that summer’s growth is dry.  Most wildfire in Vermont is caused by humans and open burning.

Winter Snow/Ice Storms

Severe winter storms can cause serious damage, including collapse of buildings, brutal wind chills, power outages, tree damage, and road closures.